It Has Been an Honor
"Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight."Honor, loyalty, camaraderie. Some people swear by it, others quietly live by it, many ignore it altogether. When you are ready to say your Last Words to a friend or ally, what would be the most appropriate words to say between two Proud Warrior Race Guys, or, really, anyone who's feeling honorable and doomed at the moment? "It has been an honor... to fight beside you." Often followed by a response like: "The honor has been mine." There is a simplicity in this statement that you rarely find; saying this will usually be the only thing you need to say, then you can make your Heroic Sacrifice or face your Bolivian Army Ending. Of course, this statement is frequently followed by the arrival of The Cavalry. Sometimes spoken to an enemy by the Worthy Opponent. May be the demonstration of Fire Forged Friendship, even if they left it to the last minute to acknowledge it. Often a cause of Manly Tears, both for the characters involved and the audience. Note that only one character has to be certain of death for this trope; in face of an impending Heroic Sacrifice (where More Hero Than Thou is clearly ridiculous), the other characters may say it to the sacrificing hero, or the hero may say it to those who will survive. May feature in the Final Speech. Compare So Proud of You, I Die Free, Do Not Go Gentle. One way to subvert this is to set up for It Has Been an Honor and have the character deliver a Dying Declaration of Hate instead.
— Wallace Hartley, Titanic (1997)
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Anime & Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Coloring the trope with romance, Hyuga - one of the male bridge crew members - says to Misato, "Dying beside you wouldn't be a bad way to go out."
- Irresponsible Captain Tylor has the Worthy Opponent variety. Tylor and Dom, commanders of their respective ships, spend a good deal of time exchanging the sorts of pleasantries that come with asking for an honorable, die-fighting death, including compliments and a toast. Then, at the last moment, plot elements that were set in motion early on break the surface of the story and a massive semi-riot ensues out in space. In the end, nobody gets killed and Dom's mini-fleet is utterly paralyzed by a massive field of debris.
- Treize Khushrenada in Gundam Wing does this in the Worthy Opponent way.
Treize: It was an honor to fight with you pilots. Milliardo, I'll be waiting on the other side...
- The last time Ed and Mustang meet before the climax of the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, they make it clear that while they had fun pissing each other off, they really did respect each other. They then depart separately to what they both believe to be their destinies.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Chrono's father's (Admiral Lindy's husband) last act before activating the self-destruct to stop the Book of Darkness is to salute Admiral Graham.
- In YuYu Hakusho, a critically injured Kuwabara gives this speech to his teammates when he is prepared to use up his life energy to end his match with Risho. Then Yukina shows up and The Power of Love kicks in.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami routinely ends duels with "It's been an honor dueling you" if his opponent is a friend. (Or at least, not an outright enemy.) Usually this is a sign that he's about to kick their ass all over the place.
- Dragon Ball Z: Shortly after Frieza transforms into his second form, Gohan and Krillin, while terrified of Frieza's transformed state, give this exchange.
Gohan: Well, it's been nice knowing you, Krillin.Krillin: Yeah... Nightmare city.
- The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer may well be the king of this trope as far as manga goes. The war the knights are involved in has a fairly high body count, and each knight's animal familiar sticks around just long enough to say goodbye upon the event of their counterpart's death, so this trope tends to come up a lot. Nonetheless, every time it does, you can count on a stirring yet heartbreaking scene.
- Pushed right into Moment of Awesome territory when Muu the Crow Knight says goodbye to Mikazuki after the war ends.
- One of the best scenes in Death Note: "Well, it was good while it lasted. We killed some boredom, didn't we? and did some various and interesting things..." This one is quite ironic because when the speech ends he kills the guy he is saying it to. On the other hand, the speaker is a god of death, so normal standards don't apply here.
- High School Of The Dead:
- Just before Soichirou and Yuriko Takagi charge into battle against the zombies:
Soichirou: Yuriko. You... are a fine woman!
- Strange example, but when the group are searching the police station's evidence locker, Takashi finds a modern semi-auto shotgun and elects to leave his older, pump-action shotgun behind. He salutes his trusty old weapon before leaving.
- Just before Soichirou and Yuriko Takagi charge into battle against the zombies:
- In the second Hellsing anime, Seras says this to Nazi-Walter, while thanking him for everything he's done for her. This causes him to show the first emotions since he vampirised himself, flinching as if struck.
- Sailor Moon: Sailor Mars delivers a variant of this to Sailor Moon, after the deaths of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus, because she quickly realises that this will be her only chance to do so. She dies a minute later.
- Claymore: Often implied in the series between characters, but the most obvious one is between Teresa and Cassandra before the former strikes the latter down as a Mercy Kill so that she can die as herself.
Teresa: Thank you for fighting with me. It was fun, Cassandra.
- The Ghostbusters get another of these moments in the finale of the IDW miniseries "Displaced Aggression," as they face down an entire demonic army to save the planet. One of them isn't having it this time though.
Ray: Gentlemen?Egon: It's been an honor.Winston: It still is! We aren't dead yet!!!
- In the classic Fantastic Four story "This Man, This Monster," Reed gets one of these moments with Ben (or rather, a scientist posing as Ben) when he thinks the two of them are minutes from hitting the atmosphere of an anti-Earth.
- In The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain, Quatermain has a conversation of this nature with Captain Nemo, who essentially serves as her foster father, telling him that "It has been an honor to live as your daughter."
- In The TSAB – Acturus War, DRA Rear Admiral Vaina says this to the crew of the Sacred War during their Last Stand.
- The protagonist of Dragon Age The Crown Of Thorns tries this on his soldiers, for their own good. It fails, because they see through it and had come to trust and like him too much to let him go off without their protection. He settles for saying, "Then I consider it a fine honor and privilege to be your commander" and proceeds to the task of pulling off a Zero-Approval Gambit of epic proportions.
- In DC Nation's version of Blackest Night, Monsieur Mallah and Robotman are trapped in Codville (the small town the original Patrol died protecting), surrounded by Black Lantern versions of their allies and enemies. When it's clear that they are completely screwed, Mallah admits that, despite Robotman being a long-standing enemy, it's been an honor under the circumstances.
- In Ace Combat The Equestrian War:
- Firefly says this to the other members of the Mirage squadron. She's not dying however, she only resigns as a leader and designates Rainbow Dash as the new one.
- In the epilogue, Rainbow Dash says it to Mobius as he leaves Equestria with Sky Eye.
- The Immortal Game: Just before the final charge in the Battle of the Everfree, which she isn't entirely convinced they'll win, Twilight says this to her friends. Well, in the roundabout, slightly messed up way that fits her new personality, anyway.
- In the Pony POV Series, just before pulling off a Crazy Enough to Work plan to escape a Hooviet attack squad, Shining Armor says this to the Griffin special forces group helping him, since failure would get them killed.
- In Christian Grey Vs Pepper Potts, Hawkeye and Gambit give this to each other when it looks like they're going to die in a lab explosion. Fortunately, She-Hulk and Hulk save them.
- In The Wrong Reflection a Klingon-Cardassian Alliance vessel is about to go down fighting against some Terran Empire ships. The first officer and viewpoint character for this segment says the Stock Phrase to the gul commanding the vessel, and he returns the sentiment, saying there's nobody he'd rather have with him. Of course right after that, one of the Terran ships opens fire on the others, as it's actually a Federation starship from the prime universe commanded by the fic's usual viewpoint character.
- Subverted, in Sunshine, in that while she doesn't die a Heroic Sacrifice or anything of that nature, Satsuki does say something along these lines, as she's dying of leukemia, where she smiles and thanks her friends for staying with her, stating it has also been a privilege.
- Twice in rapid succession in MGLN Crisis. From Griffith to Chrono, and then Lucino to Griffith. In both cases, it is followed by More Expendable Than You.
Films - Animated
- The penguins in Madagascar, before battling the fossas.
- The Green Army Men say this at the beginning of Toy Story 3.
- One of the many things that can be interpreted when Woody and Buzz look at each other one last time after joining hands to face possible death by incinerator.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens, Gallaxhar's ship is falling apart and is about to crash...along with The Missing Link, B.O.B. and Dr. Cockroach:
The Missing Link: It's been an honor knowing you, Doc.Dr. Cockroach: The feeling's mutual, my friend.B.O.B.: I'll see you guys tomorrow...for lunch.The Missing Link: That's right, Bob.Dr. Cockroach: There'll be candy and cake...balloons.B.O.B.: CAKE AND BALLOONS FOR LUNCH? IT'S GONNA BE THE BEST DAY EVER! I LOVE YOU GUYS!//
- In Kung Fu Panda, before his battle with Tai Lung Shifu says to Po and the Furious Five "I am very proud to have been your master!"
- Implied, if not spoken, between Stoick and Gobber in How to Train Your Dragon when facing the Green Death:
Stoick: I can buy our people a few minutes if I give that thing something to hunt!
Gobber(taking Stoick's hand in his, warrior-style): Then I can double that.
- Later, before Hiccup and Toothless face the Green Death, Stoick makes up for his earlier I Have No Son moment by telling Hiccup, "I'm proud to call you my son."
- In The Road to El Dorado, Miguel and Tulio have this conversation when they are about to die, stranded in a rowboat with a horse:
Miguel: Tulio, did you ever imagine it would end like this?
Tulio: The horse is a surprise.
Miguel: Any... regrets?
Tulio: You mean besides dying? Yeah. I never... had enough... gold.
Miguel: My regret, besides dying, is... our greatest adventure is over before it began, and no one will even remember us.
Tulio: Well, if it's any consolation, Miguel, you... ''[sob]'' made my life... ''[sob]'' an adventure.
Miguel: And if it's any consolation, Tulio, you made my life... ''[sob]'' rich.
Films - Live Action
- Battleship, with one last shell left on the USS Missouri, Hopper tells Captain Nagata it was an honor, who responds that the honor was his.
- Deep Impact sports both versions (pleasure and honor):
Andy: It's been a pleasure serving with you, Commander.
Fisher: The honor's all mine, Andy.
- Star Trek: Nemesis, in the scene between Riker and Picard at the end of the film.
Riker: Serving with you... has been an honor.
Picard: The honor was mine, Captain.
- The Matrix Revolutions. Just before Neo leaves on his trip to the machine city to make his Heroic Sacrifice, he has a final exchange with Morpheus, in a callback to their original meeting.
Neo: It was an honor, sir.
Morpheus: No. The honor is still mine.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy:
Boromir: Our people? Our people... I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king.
- Boromir dies and accepts that he shouldn't try to usurp Aragorn's rightful throne:
Aragorn: Be at peace, Son of Gondor.
- Also Gimli and Legolas get over their Fantastic Racism:
Gimli: I never thought I'd die fighting side-by-side with an elf.
Legolas: How about fighting side-by-side with a friend?
Gimli: ...Aye. I could do that.
- The Rock has Major Ted Baxter say this to Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel during a Mexican Standoff with a couple mutineers. Before drawing his gun on Hummel. And then opening fire on the mutineers.
- One of the few serious moments in Galaxy Quest was Quellek saying this to his father figure immediately before his death.
- Titanic (1997) has the bandleader say it to the band as they keep playing while the ship goes down.
- Parodied in The Simpsons Movie, when the floating stage Green Day is on begins to sink from the corrosive pollution in Lake Springfield.
- Also parodied in Osmosis Jones, where when it appears the body of Bill Murray's character is dying, a group of white blood cell musicians show up in one shot after repeating the phrase.
- And again parodied in Don Rosa's Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck in the 11th episode.
- Troy: The Trojan captain: "Soldiers of Troy! To fight with you has been my honor. On the other side of the river, the Boatman waits for us... I say we make him wait a little longer!"
- And Eudorus to Achilles: "Fighting for you has been my life's honor, my lord."
- Apollo 13, just before the (potentially fatal) reentry:
Lovell: Gentlemen, it's been a privilege flying with you.
- Optimus delivers this line in the 2007 Transformers movie before the Autobots storm Hoover Dam.
- As they lie dying at the climax of 300:
Stelios: It is an honor to die by your side.
Leonidas: It was an honor to have lived by yours.
- In Ghostbusters, just before crossing the streams:
Dr. Peter Venkman: See ya on the other side, Ray.
Dr. Ray Stantz: Nice working with you, Dr. Venkman.
- An unusual variant appears in Aliens. Gorman and Vasquez are about to be slaughtered together by the killer aliens, and Lt. Gorman whips out a grenade so he can at least take the monsters with them. Vasquez remarks "You always were an asshole, Gorman," before holding the grenade with him until it explodes. In this case she meant what she said, but seeing how the only reason Gorman is about to die too is because he went back to try and save her, there's definitely some mutual respect in there. She does, after all, refer to him by name rather than rank.
- Prometheus has a straighter version of this near the end. While joking about their previous bets, one of the remaining crewmen makes a remark along these lines while flying Prometheus in a kamikaze route toward the alien ship- he and the others on board die shortly after when their ship explodes from the impact, leaving Shaw and David as the only survivors.
- In Force Ten From Navarone, when Barnaby (Harrison Ford) and Mallory (Robert Shaw) realize they've run out of time (and in case anyone doesn't understand, Barnaby says so) to blow the dam, they shake hands, Mallory says, "It's been a pleasure serving with you, Colonel," and they stroll calmly away from a large pile of plastique with an absurdly short timer on it. Subverted because Miller "forgot" to tell them the dam would take some time to collapse, allowing them to escape.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the two British soldiers about to climb on the ship and fight the immortal pirates don't even have to say anything. They shake hands, and let out twin wordless battle cries.
- In The Replacements, just before the last play of the game, Falco says to his teammates, "It's been an honor to share the field of battle with you."
- In a slightly unusual context, when Captain Staros is removed from command in The Thin Red Line he says goodbye to his friends.
Staros: You are like sons to me. (pause) You are sons to me.
- In Independence Day, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are trapped and decide to launch their nuke anyway. They smoke cigars and shake hands first — "It's been a pleasure." "Steve, you too."
- Joe Gould in Cinderella Man says this as Braddock is going into the ring to face a boxer that has killed two men in the ring before.
- At the end of the big chase scene at the end of The Blues Brothers, when their car is plummeting off an incomplete highway, one Nazi looks at the other one and goes, "I've always loved you," just before crashing.
- Soichiro Yagami says this to L at the end of the second Death Note movie, shortly before L dies. Yuruga also says it to L in the third movie.
- Spock's final words in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
"I have been, and always shall be, your friend. Live long... and prosper."
- Just before they begin their apparently suicidal quest in Clash of the Titans, Perseus says something akin to this to the companions who chose to remain with him. He remarks that his father was, at least initially, the only great man he knew. Now, he could say he knew four great men. He then directs his attention to the only female and supernatural being in the group, amending his statement with: "And one woman. .... and whatever the hell you are."
- Flash Gordon. As Flash is about to pilot War Rocket Ajax into the teeth of Mingo City's defenses:
Prince Vultan: Goodbye, Flash, it's been...Flash: I know. For me too, Vultan.
American commander: Gentlemen, it's been an honor to serve with you.Soviet commander: Comrades, thank you for your service.
- X-Men: First Class: The commanders of the American and Soviet fleets both say this to their crews when Magneto redirects their missiles back at them.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Future Magneto and Xavier have such a moment as Magneto lays dying while the Sentinels are closing in and expresses regret that they spent so many years fighting each other.
- In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Wheelie tells Brains this after sabotaging a Decepticon Vessel.
Wheelie: We had a good run Brains, me and you.Brains: Yeah, but we're gonna die.
- Duane the Secret Service agent in Dave.
"Dave? I would have taken a bullet for you."
- A brutal and sarcastic take on this comes from Day of the Dead (1985). Bub, having seen Rhodes murder Dr. Logan, chases him through the laboratory with a Colt .45, shooting him several times. Just as they reach a zombie horde, Bub blows out Rhodes's knee, causing him to fall into the zombies. As they begin to devour Rhodes, Bub salutes him.
- A variation in The Postman: A fodder mail carrier declares it an honor to die for the cause beside Ford, and the two shake hands before facing the firing squad.
- The Horsemen say this to each other near the end of Now You See Me.
- Pacific Rim: Spoken by Chuck Hansen to Marshal Pentecost right before they have to make their Heroic Sacrifice.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day. While Sarah Connor doesn't say it, when she shakes the T-800's hand at the end of the film, that handshake carries the weight of this trope.
- The Monuments Men. As he's about to step off a mine, Granger says this to his fellow soldiers who refuse to leave in case they all get blown to bits. He survives however because the mine is a dud.
- Good Omens does it right before Satan himself comes up to give the Antichrist a piece of his mind.
Aziraphale: I'd just like to say, if we don't get out of this, that... I'll have known, deep down inside, that there was a spark of goodness in you.
Crowley: [...And] I'll have known that, deep down inside, you were just enough of a bastard to be worth liking.
- Also subverted in the brilliant "The Science of Discworld". When it appears the newly constructed Magical Reactor is about to blow up and destroy the universe, the Dean tells the Arch-chancellor of the Unseen University...
"I'd just like to say....""Yes, old friend?""I'd have made a much better Arch-Chancellor then you."
- Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. Holly (to Butler and Root): "Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure." They respond with "likewise."
- Pulled off with flair in the first of the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
"Valkyrie Cain, it has been an absolute pleasure knowing you."
- Oh so subverted in The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Warriors of Ultramar, after giving the (futile) order to abandon ship (escape pods can't escape the blast, but he has to try), Admiral de Corte says, "It has been an honor to serve with you all."
- In Dead Sky Black Sun, in the Eye of Terror, Uriel and Pasanius see an atrocity about to committed on helpless prisoners and decide they can't pass by, though they are heavily outnumbered.
If we do not survive, then it has been an honor to call you my friend.
- In The Killing Grounds, Uriel inverts this. After the battle, he tells Leodegarius that it had been an honor to fight beside him; Leodegarius says that the honor has been his.
- In Dead Sky Black Sun, in the Eye of Terror, Uriel and Pasanius see an atrocity about to committed on helpless prisoners and decide they can't pass by, though they are heavily outnumbered.
- From the second book of David Drake's RCN series, just before their corvette attacks a battleship, a heavy cruiser, and four destroyers:
"Captain.... We won't have much time after we exit for observations so I thought I'd say this now. Goddam little in my life went the way I'd have liked it to, not till I met you. I guess on average I've come out ahead."
- Quiller's Run by Adam Hall. The protagonist is listening to a black box flight recording of the last moments of a Thai airliner as it's about to crash, killing everyone on board.
Translator: He's saying... Jesus can you beat these guys... he's telling the captain it's been an honor to serve with him...
- Before their Heroic Sacrifice, Lorana and Thrass clasp hands and have this exchange.
Thrass: "I've known you and your people only briefly, Jedi Lorana Jinzler. But in that time, I've learned to admire and respect you. I hope that someday humans and Chiss will be able to work side by side in peace."Lorana: "As do I, Syndic Mitt'ras'safis of the Eighth Ruling Family."
- Elven soldiers, who go without a name, in Salvatore's The Hunters Blades saga of Drizzt. They are surrounded by orcs and know that they will die, they all come to this realization together and share an unspoken moment, served with just a nod, and then they Hold the Line. Very touching.
- In Suzanne Collins's Catching Fire, the only member of Katniss's prep team who manages to avoid crying (and so leaving to avoid upsetting Katniss) finishes the job and tells her that it has been a privilege making her look her best.
- Off Armageddon Reef, the first of the Safehold saga, has this as a dying king's last words as his galley is stormed. That he says it to an eleven-year-old (really 10 year old thanks to the difference between Safehold and Earth years) midshipman for whom the king just Took The Bullet pushes it towards Tear Jerker territory.
- When the T'swa face their Last Stand in John Dalmas' The Regiment, the officer commanding what's left tells them, "All right, T'swa, on my signal we will charge the enemy. Each of you has my admiration." Then he orders the trumpeters to, "Sound the dirge, then the attack." And then they get wiped out.
- In Tour of the Merrimack, two different characters say this to Captain Farragut. One of them survives; the other does not.
- The Host: Doc says a variant of this to Wanderer, right before her Heroic Sacrifice.
- In Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Tiger, when they are found out, Sharpe tells Gudin that it was an honor to serve under him.
- Near the end of the Elenium, Sparhawk thinks his only option is a Heroic Sacrifice. He tells the other knights with him:
Let's not get sentimental about this. We don't have the time. I'm honored to have known you — all of you. Now get out of here. That's an order.
- In the final book of Andrew Clements's Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School series, We Hold These Truths, the janitor Lyman says this to the Keepers after they manage to succeed in saving the school. Though he'd be working against them, it was only a job and not personal for him.
- Watership Down: Hazel and Dandelion's parting at Nuthanger Farm, during Hazel's desperate attempt to save their warren from the Efrafan assault.
Dandelion: If we ever meet again, Hazel-rah, we ought to have the makings of the best story ever.Hazel: And you'll be the chap to tell it.
- Played with in The Emperor's Finest, when Cain thinks he and Mira are about to be either killed or implanted by genestealers.
Cain: It's been an honour to serve with you, colonel.Mira: We both know that's a big fat lie, but I appreciate the thought.
Live Action TV
- In Band of Brothers, this appears in the German general's speech at the end. Although they aren't facing death, just surrender, it serves to humanize the German troops. Liebgott, who speaks fluent German, translates his speech to the Americans. His facial expression implies the former enemy is, after all, Not So Different.
- In Smallville, "Salvation", Clark says this to the Justice League before he intends to lock himself and all other kryptonians in another dimension.
- Star Trek: The Original Series, "Balance of Terror". After Captain Kirk defeats a Romulan captain in space combat, and before the latter activates his self-destruct to avoid capture:
Romulan captain: I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.
Captain Kirk: What purpose will it serve to die?
Romulan captain: We are creatures of duty, Captain. I have lived my life by it. Just...one more duty...to perform.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Troi says this to Riker while he's considering accepting his own command.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Armageddon Game" a dying Chief O'Brien says this to Julian Bashir, only to clearly wish he could take it back after they've all been rescued when Julian claims this makes them Fire-Forged Friends. As this is only Season 2, O'Brien is still at the "working with you is a pain in the ass" stage.
- Spoofed in Red Dwarf: "Over the years, I have come to regard all of you as... people I met."
- Hodgins says this to Brennan when they're Buried Alive in a car, right before implementing an escape plan that could either free them or kill them instantly.
- This exchange between Brennan and Cam when the team was heading their separate ways in "The Beginning in the End"
Cam: I've ... really enjoyed working for you, Dr. Brennan.
Brennan: In fact, Dr. Saroyan, I worked for you.
Cam: We both know better.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit when Capt. Cragen begins his temporary dismissal after the Downer Ending of the past season finale:
Chester Lake: It was an honor serving under you, sir.
Don Cragen: I'm not dead yet, Detective Lake.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003):
- Ironically, Adama's crew keep saying this to him in the mini-series, as he's due to retire. As it turns out his retirement gets postponed somewhat.
- Done during the Battle of New Caprica. Galactica has taken heavy damage while desperately trying to hold off three Cylon Baseships so the civilians can jump away. When he learns the FTL drive can't be brought back online and Galactica is beyond hope of escape, Adama delivers this line to his bridge crew. Just before the Battlestar Pegasus hurtles to the rescue in a Gunship Rescue.
- Adama does this again in when he and Tigh face the rebel Marines in "The Oath".
- Doctor Who:
Doctor: I wish I'd known you better.Bishop Octavian: I think sir, you know me at my best.Doctor: Ready?Octavian: Content.
- When it looks like the Doctor will have to sacrifice himself stopping the Sontarans, he thanks Donna and Martha for all they've done for him - and advises Luke Rattigan to do something clever with his life. Luke does - he takes the Doctor's place.
- In "The Stolen Earth", Harriet Jones (Former Prime Minister) says this just before she dies.
- Another potential example: In David Tennant's last episode, in reference to a previous comment by the Master, Doc tells Wilfred Mott that he would be proud to have Wilf for a father. Considering the hostility and mortality faced in that episode alongside the fact that one of them is carrying a gun for the other to use, it sort of works.
- In the same episode, the Doctor's last words before sacrificing himself for Wilfred are in fact "It's my honor."
- During the Tom Baker era, in The Pirate Planet, when the Doctor drops the TARDIS's defensive shields in an effort to defeat the evil Queen Zanxia, Romana simply says, "It's been a pleasure working with you."
- In "Flesh and Stone"
- Blackadder Goes Forth:
- First parodied by Edmund with the line "If I should die, think only this of me... I'll be back to get ya," and then played straight in the final episode with his quiet "Good luck everybody" as they go over the top.
- Also alluded to in the final episode when Captain Darling is ordered to the front. Blackadder and Darling had always been bitter enemies but now that they've both facing the same fate, they cease their fighting.
- Stargate Atlantis:
Ronon: All right, how do you want to play this?Sheppard: Shoot till we can't shoot anymore.Ronon: All right.Sheppard: Been a pleasure.Ronon: Same.
- Used by Ronon Dex to John Sheppard in the fifth season opener. They didn't die.
- Invoked (sorta) later on by Rodney McKay, who starts to tell Daniel Jackson that he's always respected him, before the latter dies. After they're rescued, Rodney denies that this was what he was going to say.
Daniel: You can only give compliments to the dying??
- Stargate SG-1:
- In the episode "Solitudes", O'Neill tells this to Carter as she tries to make her way to the surface. After she discovers that it's an ice planet, she comes back down, snuggles up to him, and tells him "It's been an honor serving with you too." As a matter of fact they are in Antarctica - but it might as well be an Ice Planet given their condition and lack of equipment.
- In the episode "Meridian," where Daniel Jackson dies (the first time it stuck), Teal'c has a tearful moment where he tells Jackson that if he succumbs, the battle against the Goa'uld will have lost one of its greatest warriors...and he will have lost one of his greatest friends.
- Lisbon gives one of these to Cho when she thinks she and Jane are going to die in The Mentalist episode Code Red. You think she'd be a little more Genre Savvy half-way through the second season . . .
- She thought it was a line Jane wouldn't cross. She was wrong.
- Burn Notice:
- Sam delivers the Miami version of this in an episode, while defusing a very dangerous bomb: "It's been real."
- At the end of the forth season, Michael says, "Jesse Porter, for what it's worth, I'm sorry I burned you." Jesse's a little broken up.
- Farscape loves this trope, but likes to mix up the words. Just a few examples:
- John to D'Argo in the season 1 finale.
Crichton: I love hanging with you, man.
- Before John blows up a nuke in season 4.
John: Love you.Aeryn: Love you, too.
- Bittersweet goodbye in The Peacekeeper Wars.
John: You're the closest friend I have.Ka D'Argo: You could have done better.John: Not in the entire universe.
- John to D'Argo in the season 1 finale.
- Dean from Supernatural does not appreciate this, (in season one, I think).
Sam: (winding up a long speech) I just wanted to let you know, just in case.Dean: Are you kidding me? Don't say 'just in case something happens to you'! I don't want to hear that freaking speech, man! Nobody's dying tonight. Not us, not that family, nobody.
- Zane tries to give Carter one of these in Eureka before activating a device that will either save or destroy the town, but Carter will have none of it.
- Zane: Whatever happens, it's been fun.Carter: No it hasn't! Push the button!
- An unspoken one that adds to the Moment of Awesome in the finale of Power Rangers in Space when Bulk and Skull lead the charge against Astronema's forces. Just before they rush in, the two shake each others hands clearly expressing this trope.
- Person of Interest has a variant when Reese, suffering a gunshot and pursued by the CIA, thanks Finch for giving him the chance to help people.
- A subversion occurs in "Bad Code". A member of the government discovers Finch is the hidden genius behind the Machine, so says this to Finch just before he pulls the trigger on him.
- Horatio Hornblower, "Retribution": These are Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower's and Lieutenant Archie Kennedy's parting words just before Archie Kennedy dies. Each character reassures the other about their biggest insecurities: Horatio tells Archie that he's honored to have served with him as Archie doubts that he's a good officer, and Archie tells Horatio that he's honored to have known him because Horatio doubts he's worthy as a person.
Horatio: Archie... I'm honored to have served with you.Archie: And I to have known you. See? Better already. (dies)Horatio: My dear friend.
- Mythbusters has a congratulatory example in the second Alaska Special, with the newspaper-pykrete speedboat.
Adam Savage(To Jamie): It's been an honor building strange crap with you.
Antony Has it? I hope so.
- After his defeat by Marc Antony at the Battle of Philippi, Brutus' soldiers urge him to flee. Brutus replies, "It has been an honor and a pleasure leading you. I am sorry we could not do better. You must look to yourselves now. Save your skins." He then strips off his armor and walks into the advancing enemy, attacking with his sword until he's killed.
- A bittersweet touch when Marc Antony orders Vorenus to kill him after the failure of his rebellion, and is surprised when Vorenus says goodbye to him with those parting words.
- The Office (US): Dwight says this to Michael in the episode "Branch Closing", thinking that the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin is being shut down.
- Combined with So Proud of You: Implied in the final episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot ("Curtain") when, during a conversation at dinnertime, one of the guests, Toby Luttrell, tells Hercule Poirot that though he is very old he still never gives up on solving cases like this. Poirot answers in front of everyone that he has enjoyed being here with them and that "I do not want to miss every single moment. But the clock, it ticks. Such is the will of God." (implying that he has a few days left to live) Luttrell's response to Poirot: "Oh, we'll miss you, old chap, but you won't be forgotten." So touching.
- A "less is more" version in the Garth Brooks song "Ireland":
And there are no words to be spoken,
Just a look to say "Goodbye".
I draw a breath and night is broken,
As I scream our battle cry.
- In Gordon Lightfoot's "The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
When supper time came the old cook came on deck,
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya.
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in,
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.
- The Smiths' "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
If a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - privilege is mine
- Voltaire's "This Ships Going Down" has this as the chorus:
'Cause this ship's going down
All on account of the weather
Though we'll drown
There's no need to frown
'Cause we're all going together
And I won't say "Woe is me"
As I disappear into the sea
'Cause I'm in good company
As we're all going together
- Used verbatim by the Ice Warrior Lord Zaarl to the Doctor in the Big Finish ''Doctor Who'' audio play "Red Dawn", as he prepares to sacrifice himself by standing in the path of the radioactive Martian sunrise.
- Star Fleet Battles. Captain's Log magazine #47, short story "Into the Eagle's Nest". As a group of hostile Romulan warships approaches, a police ship executive officer tells his captain "It's been an honor to serve with you." The captain survives, the executive officer doesn't.
- The song "For Good" in Wicked is this trope in music form. Preceded by this exchange;
Elphaba: You're the only friend I've ever had.
Glinda: I've had so many friends. And only one that mattered.
- Ravio's last words to Link in The Legend Of Zelda Alink Between Worlds, spoken just before Hilda sends Link and Zelda back to Hyrule.
- World in Conflict: Sawyer says this twice. Once to Bannon as he does his Heroic Sacrifice, then a second time to Parker at the end of the campaign.
- Similarly, in the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault Imperial Guard ending, Chaplain Varnus says it's been an honor to have served with General Sturnn and his men. While those two certainly survive that particular battle, it is almost certain that they will never happen to fight alongside each other again. In return, Sturnn delivers his "We die standing" speech.
- Spoofed in Uncharted: Drakes Fortune: Nathan Drake and Eddy Raja, the leader of the pirate gang who have been trying to kill him for most of the game and an apparent old rival of his, are surrounded by freakish mutants:
Eddy: Drake... In case I don't make it, I just want to say... I hate your guts!
Nathan: Yeah, likewise, pal!
- Resistance 2 has this too Capelli says this before shooting the lead, (more specifically; "Forgive me sir. It was an honor".) Nathan Hale who has been taken over by the Chimeran virus, straight in the head, after being pretty hostile to him throughout the course of the game.
- Used during the end cutscene of Halo 3.
Cortana: If we don't make it...
Master Chief: We'll make it.
Cortana: It's been an honor serving with you, John.
Forge: Son, I have a feeling before this is over, we'll need every last Spartan in the fight. I can do this. Report back to the ship.
- And again in Halo: Reach; these are Emile's last words to Carter, who is mortally wounded and later sacrifices himself to destroy a Scarab.
- And in Halo Wars, spoken by Jerome-092 to Sergeant Forge, after Forge tells the Spartans to let him detonate the FTL-drive manually.
Jerome: Good luck, sir. It's been an honor.
- In Final Fantasy XII:
Dr. Cid: Let him by, Venat. It is done. Ah, how I have enjoyed these six years.
Venat: The pleasure was all mine.
- In at least the Game Boy Advance version of Final Fantasy IV, Rubicante's last words are, "Farewell, valiants."
- Done as part of the Downer Ending for Unreal II: The Awakening: your entire crew is proud of you and having served you.
- Spoofed in Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis. Flay had to find a replacement for Vayne during the Tournament Arc. Who did he recruit? The referee (the Master of Ceremonies didn't mind, he allowed it for the entertainment value). When Vayne returns, the referee responds with the quote.
- In Perfect Dark, Dr. Caroll says this as he bids his farewell to Joanna, before triggering a self-destruct that will take with him the entire Cetan spaceship on the seabed.
- At the very end of Planescape: Torment, Morte tells the Nameless One "It's been a pleasure, chief." Interestingly, this is after the final battle, but just before the Nameless One finally dies and goes to hell.
- Mass Effect:
Mordin: Had to be me. Someone else might have got it wrong.
- In the first game, either Ashley or Kaidan says something to this effect ("I don't regret a thing") to Shepard before their imminent death by live nuke.
- All over the place in Mass Effect 3. Various members of the crew (both current and former) say it to Shepard as they prepare for the final mission towards Earth. Definitely a tearjerker moment.
- Mordin's death in particular, sacrificing himself to cure the krogan of the genophage.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, if the player's approval rating with Oghren is high enough but you leave him at the city gates before the final battle, it's possible to make this your farewell to him, or he may say it to the player first.
- Teyrn Loghain invokes this towards the Warden, if they defeat him in a trial-by-combat and decide to execute him for his crimes. Resigning himself to his fate, he calmly states he that was wrong about them and that he's glad that his beloved homeland of Ferelden will be left in their capable hands.
- In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, should the PC decide to defend Vigil's Keep during the final battle, Seneschal Varel is mortally wounded in combat, and will say this to the PC before dying in the thick of battle.
- Parodied in Episode 4 of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. As Uzi Bazooka shuts down, he suggests that, perhaps, in another life, he and Dangeresque could have been friends; Dangeresque tells him no dice, but Uzi Bazooka has gotta be the coolest robot name he's ever heard.
- Half-Life 2: Episode 2 at the end of the chapter "Freeman Pontifex": The Vortigaunt who helped you through Victory Mine says this after you retrieve the car and prepare to go your separate ways.
- ALL protagonist deaths in the Digital Devil Saga games involve this in some way shape or form. Even more epic since at the start of the first game, no one knew what honor was.
- Near the end of the Galactic Civilizations II campaign, as things take a turn for the worse, you get this line from the Arceans.
- General Leang in Command & Conquer: Generals
"This has been an interesting contest. Perhaps you will challenge me again?"
- Near the end of Snake Eater, Snake essentially tells EVA this when they are (almost) shot down by two MiGs while escaping on a WIG.
Snake: You were great, EVA.EVA: Huh?Snake: Thanks.
- At one point in the penultimate level of Star Fox Assault, Peppy Hare states "Fox, Krystal, Falco, Slippy... I'm proud to have served alongside you.", although when asked what he means, Peppy claims he was just babbling. Turns out, it was foreshadowing his attempted Heroic Sacrifice where he rams the almost-Aparoidized Great Fox into the shield generator of the planet.
- At the end of Jak 3: Wastelander Damas tells Jak he is very proud to have been by his side in the end.
- You also get a moment like this between Jak and Daxter when they're cornered by three Dark Maker drones...before Damas crashes through the wall and runs over all three of them.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric" - intro animation.
- Final Fantasy X: Wakka delivers this as his contribution to the party's collective Crowning Moment of Awesome just before the fight against Yunalesca:
Wakka: I can't believe we're gonna fight Lady Yunalesca! Gimme a break!Lulu: You could always run.Wakka: Hah! I'd never forgive myself - no way! Not if I ran away now. Even in death, ya?!
- In Dishonored, if you are in a low chaos run Samuel will not only tell you the following, but he will also be one of the characters drinking with Corvo in celebration during the Outsider's ending montage:
Samuel: All I can say is it's been a pleasure serving with you. Maybe after all this is settled, we'll see each other again. Good luck Corvo, If anyone deserves it, you do. Give my best to Emily, after she is on the throne, she won't have time for an old man like me. I knew you were sharp Corvo, but somehow you managed to get through all this mess without losing sight of what really matters. For that, I respect you. This city is going to pull itself up, I believe, too many good people to let it all turn to ashes. I best be going, the battlefield's no place for an old sailor like me, that time is long past. Good luck, my friend.
- Another spoof from Red vs. Blue.
Church: Tucker... I just wanted you to know... I always hated you. I always hated you the most.
Tucker: I know. Now hurry up and die, you prick.
Sarge: Men, it's been an honor to serve with you. And I say that using the loosest possible definition of the words 'honor' and 'serve'.
- Grif and Simmons pulled a spoof of it off during Reconstruction, when they were on the firing line for selling ammunition to the enemy. You think it's gonna be played straight, but of course Grif ruins the mood, making Simmons lose the will to say his presumably positive things.
- It is actually played straight in Season 9. Well... sort of.
- Played straight in the Season 10 finale, when F.I.L.S.S. says this to the Director right before she deletes herself at his command. He commits suicide shortly after.
- In Part 2 of Kickassia, Benzaie has strapped explosives to Beary, his stuffed bear. During the invasion of Molossia, Benzaie bids farewell to Beary, who replies, "It has been an honor to serve you, mon ami," and the two hug. Beary explodes before Benzaie can throw him, though.
- In Greek Ninja, Yamauchi-sensei starts his final speech to Sasha with "It was an honor to have you as my student...".
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series 3D movie, Yami says it was an honor to play card games with Yusei and even with Jaden.
- Not many of these speeches include a knee to the crotch or a statement that the listener should kill himself if the speaker does not return. Manwhores Randy's does. Only in Manwhores.
- The Downer Ending of Demo Reel has Donnie forced to separate from his friends (he'll get erased to be someone else and they'll fade into the Plot Hole so Kill 'em All yay), and badass closed-off Carl tries to make him feel slightly less terrified by giving him a salute.
- Along with remembering their former reviews, this happens with the crew in To Boldly Flee when it looks like the Plot Hole is going to absorb them all.
- In Worm, when Weaver's team is cornered by The Irregulars, Lung, who is firmly convinced of his own likelihood of survival given enough time to power up, has his own unique twist on the concept:
Lung:For your sacrifice, I will grant you a favor. Tell me if you want me to kill someone, an enemy you want gone.
- Played straight in the webcomic Fans! when Rikk is struck by a intensely realistic vision of all of his friends and family dead or dying.
- Mocked in Exterminatus Now the same way as in World in Conflict:
Eastwood: Guys... just in case we don't get out of this, I want you to know... You're all wankers and I hate you.
- It's spoofed again in a later episode.
- In Sam and Fuzzy, parodied.
- When Tagon's ship is facing imminent destruction in a Schlock Mercenary arc, this is one of the things he considers as his final message to the crew (who don't know about the ship's peril). In the end, he decides to lie to them instead.
- Siegfried's death in Dominic Deegan. Dominic is actively crying while he sincerely gives him his last rites, which are in the form of a ritual benediction in-setting...and then the guy goes to Hell. And Karnak shows up to personally gloat over it. Owch.
Siegfried: You would have made a v-very noble knight...I'm...sorry if I w-was rash earlier...farewell, Dominic Deegan...I...hope you...you do not...forget me...Dominic: May you know the glorious joy of heaven, Siegfried. Your soul will shine as the brightest star. May you know peace and happiness forever and— [ Siegfried's spirit vanishes from his arms on the metaphysical plane.]
- It goes:
- We know these are last rites rather than a spontaneous (wrong) seer speech because Dominic got Jayden to do it for Gregory back in the first Barthis arc. Dominic never got to the forehead-kissing part, though.
- Subverted in this Order of the Stick strip, where the party leader Roy thinks they've been found guilty of a capital crime, only to realize that he's misheard.
- Buck Godot says this to 12-Zinc, before entering Shift Space. As it happens, he does come back, but still, the sentiment is the same.
- Skin Horse:
- In Ctrl+Alt+Del's Console Wars, the Xbox One saboteurs realize they can no longer time-bomb the bridge and an enemy platoon is advancing on them, so they decide to manually detonate the bomb.
- Transformers: Beast Wars: Rattrap did this to Dinobot in the famous "Code of Hero" episode. Made even better that it was a Call Back moment too. The beginning of the episode had him snidely say peripherally to Dinobot, "You know, I used to figure I had you pegged. Oh, yeah, he's a slag-spoutin' saurian, but at least you know where he stands. Guess we live and learn." Made even more hurtful that Dinobot felt the truth in the statement. At the end, Rattrap said while fighting back the tears, "Like I said, you're just a slag-spoutin' saurian, but it's nice to know where you stand."
- "Up wind of you [Rattrap], by preference."
- Also shows up in Transformers Animated's first season finale. In a desperate stand against the Decepticons, Optimus tells his crew that he wouldn't want anyone else by his side. (Bumblebee, on the other hand, replies that it'd be nice if they were backed up by the Elite Guard.)
- In the G1 episode "The Core", we get this from the Constructicons when they face a challenge that even Devastator might not survive.
Scavenger: Look, guys, if we don't make it, it's been great being part of the team!
Bonecrusher: Hey, we're not scrap-iron yet. So don't get drippy! Now, let's transform!
- Batman in Justice League to The Flash and Martian Manhunter, while preparing to make a Heroic Sacrifice the only way Batman knows how (which is to say, awesomely): kamikaze piloting the Watchtower into a doomsday device.
"We gave our lives once to save this world. We can do it again."
- Also, the Justice Guild, heroes of an alternate reality who discover that their world was destroyed by a nuclear holocaust, and that they were only the memories of a telepathic man-child given life. When they realized that they would cease to exist in order to save what was left of humanity in their world, they silently nodded and shouted their battle-cry, "Let Justice prevail!"
- Played straight in the Galaxy Rangers episode "Queen's Gun." After destroying the Queen's super-weapon and blasting off from the explosion, the Rangers realize their getaway ship has about ten minutes of air left. Zachary's reaction is to tell his crew that he is proud of them, no matter what.
- Subverted in Megas XLR, when an out-of-control Megas is on a collision course with a Glorft starship, one pilot looks at the other one and goes, "I've always hated you." Seconds later, Megas plows through the ship's bridge, and the ship explodes.
- Arcee says this to Optimus in an episode of Transformers Prime where they believe they were going to freeze to death in the Arctic.
- Later repeated in "Evolution" with Ultra Magnus and Wheeljack after receiving a vicious beating from Predaking
- And again in "Thirst", when Knock Out and Starscream are cornered by Terrorcon zombies.
- Early on in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, when the turtles are facing down an army of mousers, Raph says this.
Raph: This is it—it's been fun, guys.Mikey: Even me, Raph?Raph: Even you, Mikey. 'Specially you.
- In one three-parter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, R2-D2 is placed in command of some reprogrammed battle droids for an infiltration mission. When the mission starts to fall apart, the battle droids stay behind to hold off the Separatists and one of them tells R2 "It has been an honor serving with you, Commander."
- Parodying "serious" cartoons and the action medium in general, Beast Boy says this in the "Let's Get Serious" episode of Teen Titans Go!.